Rain Gutters are really important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from damages.
And it’s really much easier than you probably think.
Spotting a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire house. Here, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a number of warning signs that point to a gutter leak, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the home, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing may not be causing a leak just yet, but these things will definitely result in issues. Having these defects repaired is affordable than installing new gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is puddling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just in case.
Pooling water near your home can be really damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These minor leaks can happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as refastening them, but it may also be necessary to cover the hole so no water can escape from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is constantly or frequently there. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the wet surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned and the gutters can be fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t be. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all of these factors should be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Nashville gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs indicate there are problems with your gutter that must be addressed right away. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Nashville can be of great help. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to take on the project 1-2 times a year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Nashville Gutter Solutions. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!